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I'm working for my Undergraduate degree thesis and I need to translate the terms "sieve" and "sink" from sheaf theory (the latter meaning a set (class) of morphisms in a category $C$ with common codomain $c$) into Italian. I know that literally the translations would be "crivello" or "setaccio" and "lavandino" or "scolo" (or maybe also "pozzo") respectively. Actually, such words do convey the intuitive and visual idea behind them, but they really sound horrible in Italian (at least to me). I mean, a sentence like: "Sia $R$ uno scolo su $c$" would be quite ridicolous, I'd say. Still, I need to use those words, so I'd like to ask if someone can give me some references (I mean, mathematical papers, books or notes in Italian) where such translations can be found, or if someone can point out if there are some well accepted and widely used conventions for those translations.

Maybe I could also consider the idea of not translating those terms (as Italian Mathematicians do, for example, when they need to use the words "pullbacks" and "pushouts") and using them in English even if, in such a case, I should better use the French original words. (If I'm not wrong the original word for "sieve" is "crible", but I don't know if also "sink" comes from French, maybe from some Grothendieck's paper).

What do you think? Suggestions?

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I'm always fond of translating all terms from sheaf theory in order to keep the agricultural flair. But I know that there are exceptions. For example, the established German translation for "ample sheaf" is "ample Garbe" instead of "reichhaltige Garbe". – Hagen von Eitzen Jun 7 '13 at 16:06
The original French for ‘sieve’ is indeed ‘crible’, but there is no simple word for ‘sink’. Instead they said things like ‘familles de morphismes de but $X$’. Perhaps you should ask one of the Italian categorists (there are several). – Zhen Lin Jun 7 '13 at 17:37
@ZhenLin Do you mean there are several Itialian categorists who visit this site, or do you know some of them personally? – Marco Vergura Jun 7 '13 at 22:05
Visit this site? I'm not sure. But for instance there are Caramello, Carboni, Maietti... – Zhen Lin Jun 7 '13 at 22:23
@ZhenLin Thanks, indeed I already knew about a couple of them :) – Marco Vergura Jun 7 '13 at 22:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think "crivello" would do for "sieve" (after all, "crivello di Eratostene" is widely accepted as a translation of "Sieve of Eratosthenes"), and "pozzo" would do for "sink".

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Thank you: those were also my choices and I finally translated "sieve" and "sink" in those way in my paper. By the way, if you are (as I think) the Ani-sama who writes (or used to write) at, then I'm very glad (and also a little bit honoured) you answered my question and decided to sign up here! – Marco Vergura Jul 21 '13 at 15:39
Oh yes, I am! Very pleased to meet you in StackExchange! – Francesco Genovese Jul 21 '13 at 17:02

I am Italian, so do not feel offended by the following. My suggestion is that you ask for permission to write your paper in English (I assume you can do it). After all Italian has ceased to be the language of science a long long time ago and is spoken by less than 1% of the world population. If you were writing an opera libretto, things would be different and Italian would be cool, but you are not.

If you really must write in Italian, I would suggest you look up in the English (or French) Wikipedia for the relevant articles and then check their corresponding Italian version (if present). Just as a sample: Regarding "sink": the best term would be "pozzo" Regarding "source": the best term would be "sorgente"

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italian has never been the language of science, in fact – Alexander Grothendieck Nov 26 '13 at 10:17

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